When men still had the decency to dress in style!
Waistcoats and vests of the 18th and 19th centuries served as a layer protection and ornamentation during a period in fashion when the coat was intended to be left open in the front. The color was often chosen to complement the suit and covered in imaginative embroideries, heavily woven patterns or shiny satins made to draw the eye. The style of the neck, the length and the hem treatment fluctuated as the tastes changed from over-sized coats of the early 18th century to narrow tightly fitted coats of the late 18th century and onward.
This shimmering waistcoat would have been magnificent in its original condition and likely have been reserved for the most formal occasions, possibly a court appearance or an official high ceremony. In addition, it would originally have been a very expensive purchase since it is woven entirely out of metallic threads, which were inherently more difficult to manipulate and costly. The elegant beauty of the finished garment shows the importance it would have held in any man's wardrobe.
Culture: probably British
Medium: silk, metal, linen
Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Edwin A. Neugass, 1959
Accession Number: 2009.300.2839#metmuseum #museum #fashion #fashionhistory #18thcentury #150thanniversarymetmuseum #metmuseum150thanniversary #150thanniversary #finefabrics #waistcoats #waistcoat #18thcenturystyle #menwithstyle #menwithclass #menwithclassandstyle #britishmenswear #costumecollection #silk #metal #linen #historyoffashion @metmuseum @metcostumeinstitute